No plans to evacuate Trinis from Venezuela
Posted: Monday, December 16, 2002
Abstract: T&T Newsday
THE Government of Trinidad and Tobago has no plans to evacuate any of its nationals who live in Venezuela at this time. Speaking at a post-People's National Movement (PNM) General Council press briefing at Balisier House yesterday.
Prime Minister Patrick Manning admitted that if evacuation of TT citizens from the neighbouring South American republic became necessary, Government would need help to execute such an operation.
"As of now TT does not have the ability to perform operations of that nature, in the traditional way in which these things have been done," the Prime Minister said. Manning said the situation in Venezuela was discussed informally by Caricom leaders during their recent summit in Cuba.
"What we did note, is that a duly elected Government in Venezuela was under threat. I can tell you that since coming back here, I have been in touch with President (Hugo) Chavez of Venezuela and I have expressed our solidarity with him and his government. We expressed the view that matters in Venezuela be brought to an expeditious and amicable conclusion by democratic means," he stated.
Chavez's opponents have launched a 13-day, nationwide strike against his administration and are calling for early general elections. The United States has expressed support for early elections in Venezuela, the world's fifth largest oil producer.
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